Introducing…the Convertible Tote!

I’ve wanted to make a bag like this for a long time. Something lightweight, something that was not too tall, but COULD be taller if you needed it to. The convergence of summer vacation and Daisy Janie’s awesome Shades of Grey fabric and I finally had time to make a couple of prototypes!

What I’ve been mulling about for the past little while (um…6 months? a year? Who knows!) I wanted to have a way to top of the bag flop over to cover the opening, but also, have it open top for fast access if I wanted. I love the folding over of the top edge of my nesting buckets, that folding gives a bit more structure, and I love the contrasting color! Well, I had an “Aha!” moment about how to accomplish this last Friday! Woot!

So depending on how much one wants easy access to the inside you can carry it several different ways!
I was a bit on the fence over the extra handles at the top. If there weren’t birds on the bags, the handles would be a nice pop of color against the grey. But I was worried they were muddling the front of the bag. After the first prototype, when I tucked the handles up underneath the fold so see if I wanted to make a bag with no extra handles. But I was pleasantly surprised – they  stay tucked up!

I’m really happy with these – and when I take one out, I keep being freaked out at how light these are, I worry I’ve lost my cell phone or something!

If for some reason you haven’t seen enough pix, there are plenty over at my flickr. Hah! And even though I took lots of pix, none of the ones that I took of the inside worked out. I put a zipper pocket on one side and a divided patch pocket on the other with places for 2 pencils, a cell phone and a wallet.

What do you think? Is this type of tote a keeper?

I’m sharing this with my pals over at Amy’s Sew-n-Tell!

21 Responses

  1. WOW! What a fantastic idea and job!! LOVE this tote. Would love to make one myself. Like you I have so many ideas of things that I want to do and will probably take years before I set out to do them with all of the other side projects I have going on. Always doing for others before myself. Anyway, absolutely love this bag. Great for teachers, mom’s, even school kids. It’s perfect and I like having the handle options. I wouldn’t change a thing. I assume there are some pockets on the inside? If not that would be the only thing I would add. Another option would be to add exterior pockets instead of applique (but who doesn’t love applique. Maybe a side pocket for quick phone access?! Absolutely love this. Did you make the pattern yourself? Is it something you are going to share eventually?

  2. What a fabulous bag and I love the addition of the gray fabrics! My set of gray fabrics should arrive this week…..thanks to you!

  3. I really love this inspiring work of art, I like the way you layout the site you are a true art lover.

  4. The bag is pretty cool, but I’m more in love with your hand-dyed fabrics contrasted against all those lovely grey/white geometric prints. It really makes your already impressive colors even more vibrant due to the contrast. I like it!

  5. You amaze me! If ever there was a reason to be glad I created this group of grey fabrics, this would be it!! I am seriously beside myself with how cool this looks – those birdies make the whole thing, too! tweet, tweet!

  6. Really love alllllllllllllllll of the totes.
    Looks like a pattern easy enough for me.

  7. EXCELLENT!!! The perfect thing to take shopping – leave with it folded over, come home with it straight up, lol! Candy this is brilliant.

  8. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these bags Candy! When I get a teaching job I will definitely commission you for one. The grey and the plum together is gorgeous! Can’t wait to see you 🙂

  9. Definitely a keeper! Are you making a pattern or even better a viseo we can buy?

  10. Hello. Wow you are incredibly talented. I discovered you on Sew and Tell Fridays via Amylouwho. So excited that I found this creative and fun linky! I am a crafter, hand sewer,embroiderer,cross-stitcher and I am just learning to use a sewing machine! I would love to connect with you and share fun projects. Please visit me and follow along! Thanks! Please visit me @ mommiesandbeyond dot com

  11. I saw you on Quilting Arts TV and love the bag you showed. I tried to access the web site for the instructions but it was not up and running. I had the show number even. Anyway, do you sell the pattern for your bag or can you tell me where I can get it. This is a great bag and I just have to make one. Thank you so much. Love your web site.

    1. Karen,
      Do you live anywhere near Redlands, CA? Candy will be teaching a class on making the convertible tote bag at the store. It starts Tues. Nov. 27, 2012. Call the store to get more info!